Last month, we asked you to share your favourite PlayStation memories with us, and without exaggeration, the response has been overwhelming.
You’ve told us hundreds of stories. Some of them are touching and some of them are humorous. There are stories about friendships forged, and lives saved or even briefly escaped. There are stories about the remarkable lengths we sometimes go to for gaming. There are stories about longing, about victories and defeats, and about obsession.
If there’s a common theme running through these hundreds of anecdotes, maybe it’s that sense of awe we've all experienced on PlayStation devices since the first one launched nearly 20 years ago. That exhilarating moment of revelation when it dawned on us that in many ways gaming makes the impossible possible. That there are thousands of worlds and experiences out there waiting for us, and that we don’t need to simply bear witness to them in silence, but that we can engage in them, we can shape and control them. That sudden, irreversible moment when we became a player.
A huge thank you to everyone who entered. It has been our pleasure to read through all your fondest PlayStation memories and to hear your enthusiasm for the pastime we all share shine through.
A selection of our favourites
Brendan J C.
I remember way back when the last gaming console I had as a child was the Sega Master System II and I would play Sonic & Alex the Kid as if it were the best thing since sliced bread! We didn't have memory cards and auto saves back then so if we wanted to make it to the final boss we had to use skill and persistence and when I hit that credit roll after beating Dr Robotnik was a truly epic feeling as a child.
Then several years later, my mum came home with an early Christmas present for me, it was a Playstation bundle she had won in a raffle held by a local video shop’s opening party which introduced me to a whole new world, nothing of the likes that I had ever seen before! Gran Turismo, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Metal Gear Solid! and a MGS Jacket which I still have to this day! it's a little mangy and worn out now but I keep it for sentimental value because from that day on gaming [for me] was forever changed.
TV?! Ha! What's that?! I'm in Rupture Farms trying to save my skin and all my other Mudokun people's backsides from becoming meatsicles using shamanistic possession and uber stealth tactics in all it's puzzle platformer glory!
I hold onto memories like these of my gaming past and many more because they are important to me, they helped me deal with the many burdens of my youth like being bullied in school and never being a very strong academic, I couldn't tell you how to solve several maths equations to save my life but I sure as hell could map out an attack plan for an enemy boss or navigate puzzle like levels with ease. Gaming with PlayStation back then showed me that I wasn't just some dumb kid with nothing to show, I had my own strengths that could be applied outside the box we we're all stuck in and when I was bullied, playing games when I got home helped me escape and feel like a hero once in a while to balance things out and remind me that things will be okay in the long run! and I was right, I survived!
I could write all night about so many more memories spanning from beating my first Final Fantasy game, the great transition into PlayStation 2 and how TimeSplitters 2 consumed my life for almost a year trying to get some of the highest challenge and arcade scores and sharing them online. God I miss that game.
How I first met my partner today by playing Tekken 3 with her over a decade ago - time flies - we've had a huge life cycle with the PlayStation 3 and even more amazing games to show the world we will not be taken lightly in what we can achieve!
Today we dawn upon a new era with the release of PlayStation 4, and the industry is bigger than ever with the amazing work people have put into games and interactive media. It is absolutely a dream come true for people like me, shifting from a world where games and gamers were shunned for being different and now we have risen to being a cornerstone of the entertainment industry, I salute you all in hanging in there and introducing your friends and loved ones to the worlds we all love to visit and connect with,
I remember walking the neighbourhood with friends in primary school and washing cars for $2-10, so we could scrape together enough to rent out a PlayStation and a couple of games. After much effort and having to wire the thing through the VCR we took turns playing Resident Evil covered in blankets, terrified out of our young minds. Still to this day remember thinking it was so cool that ‘we played moonlight sonata’ on the piano and telling my friends I totally wasn't scared the entire time.
My favourite playstation moments are still on the original PlayStation. My grandmother, who is a pensioner from Kaitaia, still only plays her PlayStation. Refusing to upgrade, she still rocks Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Croc, The Emperor’s New Groove, and a few others. She has clocked a few of them even with Crash Bandicoot Warped unlocking the extra levels. But she still finds it a bit hard for some levels, such as the flying Spyro ones.
So on the odd trip me and my mother make the trip from Auckland up to Kaitaia for the weekend. Its meant to be a family visit but on the side it's truly just to help my grandmother get these levels done. She has all my PlayStation games now (and my PS1 from my childhood..) so the only time I get to play them is up there.
It’s a joy helping her to get that extra gem when racing the clock, plus its always good to get the real reward at the end which is usually some form of junk food.
I have to admit that PlayStation is the reason I am now married to the love of my life. She came over to visit my house with some friends and was a unknown person to me, after a brief chat we got talking on the PlayStation 2 sitting in the middle of the room. After all the other people left she stayed and we proceeded to spend the rest of the entire night doing a gaming marathon against each other while getting to know one another more.
We laughed, we cried (she beat me in a fighting game, the shock horror), and we learnt that we shared ab lot of passions and interests. This wasn't suppose to be a setup by friends. It’s now eight years later, we are married, still competing with one another on the PlayStation 3, and sharing and enjoying life together. We attribute it all to Sony and the little black box of joy.
We took a week off school, hired out a PlayStation and played Tony Hawk's Skateboarding for seven days straight. And then thought that clocking the game somehow made us better skateboarders. So, taking it to the streets only to come home covered in blood, sweat and tears - many, many tears. Our limbs, our pride: both were demolished.
My mum died of cancer in 1998. After her funeral and wake at our house, I held it together long enough to make my way to my room - I was still living at home - and turn on the PlayStation. I started up Syphon Filter, and played it all night and all the following day. I played the PS1 for nearly a whole week solid, barely leaving my room. It helped me stop thinking about things I wasn't quite ready to think about. I still have extremely fond memories of Syphon Filter!
Vice City. I remember the day, late November 2002 and it was already beginning to get humid and hot. We had prepared well for the event: a day of op-shopping to get the best Miami/Scarface like outfit $10 could buy in sunny Hamilton's vintage boutiques.
We were preparing for the midnight release of Vice City at the Centreplace Mall, Waikato's number one spot for degenerates and gamers alike, it was a hotbed of awesome that night to be sure.
We waited in line with the rest of Hamilton's finest, all jittery at the thought of playing a living, breathing GTA world in the city of Vice. We waited in a nervous huddle until the clock finally struck midnight, we got our reserved copies and were out the door faster than a Florida Alligator at mealtime.
The moment had arrived, putting the hallowed disc into my PlayStation 2, it had all lead up to this.
Nek Minnit, it's a calendar week later and Telecom has received a total of four sick day calls during the stanza...there were also 5 pizzas delivered, 8 packs of noodles downed, 12 packs of Skittles scoffed and a good number of Corona consumed.
I was sitting there in the same shirt I started the adventure in, washed once for good luck. A satisfied smile on my face, Tommy Vercetti's story was complete.
Sun, Guns and Cocaine Runs. My favourite Playstation memory.
We got our PlayStation when I was around seven or eight, and it was fun but didn't mean all that much to me - at that age I used to potter around with a few levels and get stuck, then give up to do something else.
It wasn't until I was nine, being exhausted having just come back from school camp and being dragged to a party my parents were going to that I fell in love with gaming. The people hosting had hired a PlayStation and a game I'd never heard of before - Final Fantasy IX. Begrudgingly (because I didn't want to be at the party in the first place) I started playing to pass the time, but became enthralled - this game had story! It had beautiful music, cool characters, a faux medieval setting and magic - all things I'd only ever found in books before.
Four hours later my parents had to literally drag me away from said party that I didn't want to go to - and I was desperate to get a copy of the game for myself. I nagged and begged and pleaded – eventually Mum caved into hiring the game for me, and I marathoned it over the two days I had it. We were two hours late returning it because I was desperately trying to beat the boss Valia Pria with my under-leveled (because I'd been rushing to try and finish it) characters so I could get to a save point.
Unfortunately for mum, this brief weekend with the game only made me want it more, and I started bargaining. When chore-related promises wouldn't work (admittedly, doing the vacuuming for a $100+ game is a bit cheap!), I started bargaining grades - "If I win a prize at the end of year graduation, you have to get Final Fantasy IX for me!". I was so bitterly, painfully disappointed when I didn't win anything - not because of the school's prize, but my personal prize that I wanted!
Christmas came and went, with nothing, and I started to lose hope for this game I desperately loved - and then, February, and my birthday, the game was finally mine!
It took me 3 or 4 tries to finally finish the game as I kept getting stuck - I was 15 when I finally completed the whole thing, but it was a glorious feeling (I'll admit that I cried, hahah). I still have my PS1 copy, which I lend to friends to play on their PS3s and have just finished a run through with my partner – because even now, 13 years later, I love that game so deeply.
I have so many amazing memories of playing it, of the music, the characters, the trials they face, the people they love. If there was ever one game I'd never sell or throw away it would be this one, not only because of what the game means to me, but because this was the game that changed me from a girl with a passing interest in her Playstation, to a lifelong gamer.
Everyone at Gameplanet loved your story, Jess Woodward. It took us right back with you, and in it we also saw ourselves. We hope you enjoy your new PlayStation 4, and that you'll use it create new memories for years to come.